Enough is as Good as a Feast
Mary Poppins had some great one liners. Back in the day where you had to wait to watch a movie because it was only shown once a year on TV, Mary Poppins was one of those movies we would rush home for so we wouldn’t miss it. There is actually a treasure trove of wisdom to be found in that movie, but there was a phrase she said that I never quite understood as a kid: “Enough is as good as a feast.” How could a feast not be better than enough? I mean, come on! My young mind pictured a table loaded down with delicious smelling food and rich, lavish desserts. I thought maybe Mary Poppins just got that one wrong. Yet time has shown me the beauty and truth of her wise words.
I’ve learned that sometimes, there isn’t this big, obvious turning point in my life, some huge fork in the road glaring before me in neon lights announcing that I have finally arrived. Because I want that, frankly. I tend to want the big moment, a time where I can clearly see exactly where I’m headed and how I’m going to get there. I want to celebrate that certain challenges are now firmly behind me and I will never have to deal with them again.
I’ve learned life rarely cooperates with my desire for huge neon signs and quick, immediate turn arounds. It’s not that God can’t deliver them, and there have been a handful of occasions where He has. But generally, that’s not been my experience. Change, especially character change, rarely happens overnight. Hurt, heartache and challenge aren’t just suddenly gone one morning never to return again. Businesses are rarely built with the swiftness of a shooting star.
But we hear about those stories, don’t we? The stories of the little start-up that could, or that person who achieved overnight success. We hear about someone who did experience a major turning point and never looked back again. So, we crave that. I crave that.
Here’s the truth I’ve come to learn: the little moments matter more than the big ones. Don’t get me wrong. Big moments rock! I’ve experienced those times where there is a definite before and after, and I look back at that moment and my heart smiles. But let’s face it. It’s the day in and day out decisions and choices we make that frame our lives, that make up the majority of our journey, and always waiting and waiting for this big moment means your day-to-day becomes a holding pattern. Who wants to live like that? I sure don’t!
When I look back, I see the biggest positive changes in my life, the ones that have profoundly changed who I am and how I approach life, are the ones that have been carved out over time. It’s been a little victory here and another small step forward there that cumulatively result in a better, richer life. It’s not a neon sign that greets me at the other end of the tunnel I’m exiting. It’s more of a slow dawning that how I’m handling a situation is evolving, that the fear I used to experience is starting to shrink and my trust in God’s guiding hand is becoming surer. It’s like I look back and realize God has shifted my path to a different course several steps ago and I’m just now understanding it.
I take time now to appreciate the little victories, the small steps forward of my day-to-day life that help me appreciate my path in the moment, even when it’s hard. It’s acknowledging and being grateful for the window of happiness I feel, even on days when it’s small. It’s thanking God at the end of each day for the ways He showed up in the little things. It’s the choice I made to turn my behavior around sooner, and to start craving something different and better in my life. Even on the days I’m sick, it’s remembering that most days I’m not and thanking God for it.
Feasts are fun, to be sure, but you can only eat so much. Enough is filling. Enough keeps you moving forward. Enough is a trust in God that says, “While I may not understand how this is going to work out or how You’re going to get me there, I trust in You and I know You will use all of these little victories to grant me, over time, the big one I crave.” Enough really is as good as a feast.
For Further Thought: Make space in your daily routine to thank God for the little blessings and changes you’re seeing in your day-to-day life. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate or fancy. You can do this while you’re driving or in the shower or while sipping on your morning cup of joe. I have a journal I keep on my night stand that I write in most nights thanking God for the ways I saw His hand in each day. Whatever you do or however you do it, make that space. The Bible tells us, “Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous” (Psalm 112:4). Dawn light rises slowly, but once it gains momentum, it takes your breath away and then becomes so bright you can no longer see. Look for those dawning “enough” moments in your life. In time, they will become the big change God wants you to experience.